Seasiders pull off yet another stunning cup victory



Felixstowe & Walton United produced yet another impressive FA Trophy performance to defeat Southern Premier Central leaders Peterborough Sports. Henry Barley and Zak Brown scoring for The Seasiders who  came from behind to progress to the second round proper for the second successive season.

Felixstowe welcomed back Jordan Matthews and Ollie Canfer to the starting eleven, whilst Curtley Williams and Billy Holland took their places on the bench after recent injuries. There was further bad news on the injury front before kick-off, goalkeeper Callum Robinson failing a fitness test and joining the ever-growing injury list, with Seasiders legend Danny Crump starting his first game in over a year.

Peterborough were well supported and their fans were soon celebrating the opening goal, Ryan Fryatt rising highest to nod in a free kick on five minutes after a defensive mix-up for Felixstowe. The atmosphere was understandably muted by the early goal and the knowledge that Step 3 leaders Peterborough had scored 41 goals in 13 league matches this season clearly led to thoughts of a long afternoon ahead. The Turbines were seeing more of the ball but Felixstowe were starting to find their feet in the game and were matching their opponents in all areas of the pitch. Zak Brown did well on 8 minutes to create space and cross to the far post, unfortunately a defender cleared for a corner before Ollie Canfer could connect. Sam Nunn saw his goal bound header saved by the goalkeeper from the corner as Felixstowe continued to press for an equaliser. It only took until the 17th minute for that equaliser to appear and it was that man Henry Barley again weaving his magic to score a stunning goal, winning the ball on the right, cutting inside and sending a rocket of a shot, as straight as an arrow into the top left corner. The goal settled Felixstowe further as the confidence grew on and off the field. Peterborough were quick going forward with their three-pronged attack but were not troubling Danny Crump too much in the home goal. Lewis Hilliard spun in the box to shoot on 21 minutes but Armani Schaar was there to clear the danger. Felixstowe had a golden chance to take the lead on 24 minutes, Charlie Warren doing brilliantly on the left to cut in and fire towards goal, the keeper could only block on the line and clear to Zak Brown whose shot was cleared off the line by two defenders. The away side upped the pressure as the first half drew to a close but could only create half chances, Sam Nunn heading out for a corner from a dangerous cross and Fryatt heading wide when positioned well at the far post as the whistle blew for half time.


Curtley Williams took the injured Sam Nunn’s place at half time as the Seasiders injury list grew to even more lengthy proportions. Peterborough started brightly and Dion Sembie Ferris was finding space on the right as the half started, he shot wide on 46 minutes before firing high and wide over the bar a minute later when in another dangerous position. On 50 minutes it was 2-1 to Felixstowe and an assist from goalkeeper Danny Crump, his long goal kick bouncing once in the final third for Zak Brown to pounce onto and lob the advancing Lewis Moat to nearly take the roof off the Goldstar Ground. Felixstowe were forced into yet another change on 57 minutes, Curtley Williams aggravating his hamstring and being replaced by Josh Hitter. A member of the visiting backroom staff was then shown a red card for foul and abusive language towards the assistant referee as the away side became increasingly frustrated at the way the game was going, again having a fair amount of possession but creating very little up front for their prolific strikers. The home side were fighting for every single ball and putting their bodies on the line in all areas of the pitch and breaking quickly when they gained possession. My man of the match, Leon Ottley-Gooch came close to increasing the lead on 67 minutes, rising at the far post to head towards the bottom corner, the keeper pulling off a great save to deny him another FA Trophy goal, and then again two defenders clearing off the line from Armani Schaar’s follow up effort. Goal scorer Zak Brown became the latest Seasider to go off injured on 71 minutes for what looked a very painful groin injury, Miles Powell replacing him as Felixstowe continued to hold firm. Josh Hitter did well on 74 minutes to win the ball in midfield and spread the play out left to Charlie Warren, the youngster had played a blinder so far in the game and he burst forward again and crossed well but the away defence was strongest and cleared. Warren again was in the thick of the action on 82 minutes, Henry Barley and Miles Powell doing incredible work in the centre and setting up Warren to run into the area and fire just wide of the left post. Peterborough had their best chance of the half on 83 minutes, the ball looped into the box for the forward to nod down into the path of Jarvis, but he could only blast the ball well wide from six yards. The injuries and the red card meant that seven minutes added time was announced, Peterborough desperately trying to create chances but Felixstowe showing an absolute masterclass in game management to hold the ball, clear when required and break quickly to eat up crucial seconds, the crowd, that had been magnificent during the second half, were helping the boys home to a famous result and they were roaring on every player, none more so than when Armani Schaar picked the ball up in the right back position and ran the length of the pitch, beating five men on his way to winning a corner. Peterborough ran out of ideas and Felixstowe held firm to seal a fantastic victory and go into the hat for Mondays’ second round draw.


Seasiders Manager Stuart Boardley spoke to the Media Team after the game. “I felt we deserved that win in all fairness, obviously at the end they had some real spells of pressure especially that last 10-15 minutes when they were throwing centre halves forward and sticking the ball down our throats, but to a man I thought we played incredibly well. I don’t think today’s game could have thrown anything more at us that what it did! Losing your goalkeeper before the game, and several more injuries throughout the match to add to the already lengthy list. They had their fair share of decisions I felt during the game but still our lads stood up to it, fought for everything and were fantastic.” Boards went on to say. “It was a dreadful start, a miscommunication at the back leaving their player a free header 7-8 yards out is not how you want to start, but that woke us up a bit, they dug in from there and worked incredibly hard for one another. We’ve been working all week on the game, we knew a team a step higher, and top of that league, were going to have spells of possession, we couldn’t just chase it blindly, we needed to sit in, we needed to be compact, we needed to be clever when we pressed and I felt we got the balance of that right because we won the ball quite high up on occasions because we picked the right times to do it. Henry Barley has got that bit of something different about him and his goal was fantastic, he can be frustrating as a player sometimes but he can be magical also and you need game winners like that in your side, and we have a few of them now. I am really pleased for Danny Crump today, coming in late to play in goal having not played a minute for a year; he even got an assist for the winner so he’ll probably retire on that one! Peterborough are a top top side and they are bang up there at the top of their league for good reason, like us they were missing a few today that may have affected their shape, but we knew how they were going to play, we set up correctly to counteract them and our grit and determination saw us through today, alongside the crowd, they really dragged us through today. It seemed to take until the second goal for the crowd to start to believe a bit but luckily those players in the dressing room believed we could do it from the off and that’s why we are through.”




Match report by Stuart Daynes

Photos by Dave Francis

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